The cost-of-leaving is not worth dying for

Black and white photo of female presenting person wearing a headscarf, looking solemnly at the camera and with some facial injuries and smudged make-up

The cost-of-leaving is not worth dying for

Fight the #CostofLeavingCrisis with Dash and help victims of domestic abuse.

Victims of domestic abuse are being forced to weigh up the cost of leaving their abuser against the cost of living.

The effect of staying in an abusive relationship can be devastating for families, but fear of destitution is preventing people from fleeing abusive homes or relationships, forcing them to weigh up the cost of leaving against the cost of living.

Two women per week and 30 men per year lose their lives at the hands of a former or current partner, and that figure will only increase if we don’t act now.

The demand for our services is at an all-time high and we simply could not do this without support from people like you. Your kindness allows us to provide life-saving services to local families who need us now more than ever.

Research has found that 73 per cent of victims are scared to leave their abuser because of fears over finance*. This is happening on your doorstep, right here in your community.

We’re also seeing brave survivors face heart-breaking choices, even after they’ve left their abuser. Our frontline staff support victims struggling to pay their food, bills, and essential items for family life. When faced with the spiralling cost of living, the cost of leaving can feel like too high a price to pay, leading to survivors returning – with their children – to the abuser.

Survivors recovering from trauma need direct financial and practical support to help them through the crisis, such as help with rent and support with paying for bills and essential items. They need to be able to afford to escape domestic abuse for good.

Katy, in our children’s services team, tells us the story of **Emily, a client she recently supported.

“I recently supported a client called Emily and her children, who are struggling to move on after leaving an abusive home. Emily’s mother used to help cover her rent, but when she passed away, Emily was left with no-one to turn to.

“Just the other day she told me that Emily was struggling to pay for Calpol when her son became ill. Not being able to provide the most basic of items for your child when they are sick is something no parent should have to face.”

Katy, support worker

In a recent study***, it was found that while living with the trauma of abuse, survivors were worried about paying bills (74%) or being able to afford food (61%). Almost all survivors had seen a negative impact on the amount of money available to them as a result of the cost of living increases.

The impact of the cost of living crisis puts people in Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead and across the Thames Valley at risk if they must choose between the cost of leaving and the cost of staying with their abuser, afraid of not being able to provide for themselves or their children. This has to change.

The Cost of Living is Not Worth Dying For is The Dash Charity’s Christmas appeal, in response to the current crisis facing domestic abuse victims and our support services this winter.

*Research carried out by Refuge of its frontline workers in October 2022

**Client’s name has been changed to protect their identity.

***Women’s Aid survey of domestic abuse survivors, June 2022